OHI’s Free Spring Webinar – A Reminder!

Facing North: Navigating Turbulent Times

How do we confront today’s challenges—as individuals and as members of local, national, and global communities?  How do we deal with this maelstrom of unpredictability, this sandstorm of change?  It seems we’re beset on all sides—the current political scene, climate change, war, poverty, mysterious diseases—how can we stay centered and calm enough to steer through these choppy waters?

 Join Orenda Healing International’s guest speakers online as they share their insights

Spring Webinar

Saturday, April 1, 2017


Sign up here!

 If you miss the webinar itself you may still view it online for one week.  After this you may purchase your own digital copy.  But you must sign up to receive the webinar link!


Alan Levin, LMFT.  Founder, Sacred River Healing, Tomkins Cove, NY

Murshida Dr. Ana Perez-Chisti, PhD.  President, SUFI Universal Fraternal Institute, Orinda, CA

Dr. Bahman Shirazi, PhD.  Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA

Jan Edl Stein, MFT.  Director, Holos Institute, San Francisco, CA

What to Say– and When to Say It

Readers be warned:  this is a political blog entry!

There are so many arguments about how and when to address the monumental political changes that are occurring in America today that people are confused– overcome by a combination of righteous indignation, resentment, outright anger, and fear.  It’s this last emotion I want to address here.

The time to speak up about how you feel is now.  There will never be a better time.  Unspoken, these turbulent emotions only serve to make us even more angry and fearful and often affect our health as well.   Friends, family members, and clients have complained about how sick they’ve felt since the presidential inauguration and the resulting avalanche of comments and activities flooding the  media, Twitterverse, and Facebook.

Despite knowing this, many have resigned themselves to suffer in silence.  Reasons vary.  Some are afraid to arouse the Beast.  Some simply hope that if they don’t energize it, all the bad stuff will quietly disappear.  For others, one fascinating justification is the belief that our speech and actions create what we will experience.  Whether this is true or not, acknowledging and “outing” an unacceptable situation does not automatically predispose the Universe to deliver a negative result.  Yet people insist: “Talk about what you want.  Not about what you don’t want.”

My response to this advice is that if you have a serious disease and refuse to acknowledge and address it, it may kill you.  Knowledge is power.  Shared knowledge energizes right action.  So speak up!

The other point that needs to be addressed is what to say.  For many months now, people have tiptoed around the serious issues that confront us– more blatantly and alarmingly every day.  “Don’t call him names,” I hear, and “Don’t say he’s crazy.”  “Don’t use the word resistance because it just aggravates the opposition.”  “Maybe there’s nothing to this Russian thing.”  “Maybe it’s just a performance– like reality TV.”  “Maybe the Republicans will move him out on their own.”  And since last night’s address to a joint session of Congress, “See?  He’s softening up!”

Maybe.  And maybe not.  If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, chances are it actually is a duck.  And this duck is a reality TV actor– nothing that he says can be considered truthful.

Our country’s new president has spent the entire past year and his first month in office spewing venom and vindictive comments about Latinos, women, Muslims, Blacks, refugees of all ages, and members of our own military.  He has vowed to undo every piece of positive legislation passed since the 1970s, to undermine any attempt at social justice, and to roll America back to the 50s and earlier, when the only citizens who enjoyed any sort of privilege were wealthy white men.   Ignoring the clear evidence of climate change and the existence of far more efficient and planet-friendly energy sources, he has promised the impossible:  to return us to an economy based upon inefficient technologies– steel mills,  coal mines, and fossil fuels– despite the fact that the collateral damage includes not only unnecessary world-wide wars for the purpose of seizing other countries’ fossil fuels, but the total destruction of the planet itself.  He has threatened to silence the media because he cannot stand criticism.  And he has blamed all his mistakes so far (which are many) on others:  his staff, his political party, former President Barack Obama, and the American people.

Is this what we want to be?  A global bully, despised by the rest of the world?  A totalitarian state run by an amoral dictator and his cartel of unprincipled supporters?  The leaders of other nations– Mexico, Canada, England, France, and many more– are begging us:  AMERICA, WAKE UP!

Say what you see.  Say what you feel.  Say what you fear.  Say it to your family members, your close friends, your doctor, your pastor or spiritual counselor, your representatives in Congress.

But do speak up.  And speak up now.



Sad Report from Standing Rock

Copied and pasted in FB by request:

Cruel, heartless behavior and, the sad truth is, we don’t even need the oil.
From Zen Honeycutt’s page. Please share.

With a very heavy heart:
Harrowing news out of Standing Rock from volunteer, Deborah MacKay.  Warning: It’s not pleasant. But you need to know this, and share.


Friends, I have returned from Standing Rock with my mind blown, my heart broken and my spirit troubled with foreboding of a deepening tragedy. Volunteering as a legal observer with the Water Protector Legal Collective I witnessed several confrontations between Water Protectors (WP) and law enforcement: national guard, sheriffs and private security (LE).

On 1/18/17 – 1/19/17 I observed WP with their hands in the air chanting “hands up don’t shoot” being fired upon at a range of 10 to 15 feet. Tear gas canisters and rubber bullets ( rubber bullets are regular bullets covered in rubber) were used against unarmed WP who had been singing and praying. I observed national guard chasing WP off the Backwater bridge, firing at people running away. I heard people choking and gagging from tear gas. I saw access to the WP medic vehicles being blocked. I spoke with medics and WP who described bullets penetrating flesh and causing terrible injuries, including to one media person who nearly lost his finger when his camera was targeted.

I talked with a media person and was told of 4 media people on the bridge that night, 3 had their recording devices shot and the 4th, his hand. I saw a photo of a sheriff aiming a rifle directly at a media woman who was standing apart from the crowd. I heard testimony of the back of the medic pickup truck being awash in blood after evacuating wounded.

I watched, and then, inadvertently became a part of, WP being forced off the bridge by national guard who were hiding behind WP vehicles parked along the road and firing rubber bullets at fleeing people. Many people were shot in the back, the neck, the head. When LE fired at people at close range, many were shot in the genitals or in the face. I received information about DAPL security breaching the short wave radio channels of the WP with taunts such as ”come out and fight like men you faggots or we will come to Camp and fuck your women.”

There are some young warriors, who, without the support of their elders, many who want the camps cleared to mitigate the economic and social damage being suffered by the local community in having the bridge closed, have vowed to not leave the camps or to let the last section of pipeline be built.

Driving away from the area on Monday I saw a convoy of construction vehicles heading to the drill pad. Last night an indigenous website live streamed reports of drilling and construction noises coming from the drill pad.

Without the eyes of a free press these attacks and trespasses continue, with the human rights and sovereignty of indigenous peoples denied. The UN Committee on Transnational Corporations and Human Right Abuses was in Standing Rock this week to take testimony of the many transgressions against people: crop dusters spraying poison pesticides and fertilizers on the camps; hair samples indicating the presence of these chemicals; people who have been injured, beat up, arrested, strip searched; media and medics being targeted by snipers; (one medic told me he stopped wearing his Red Cross vest due to medics being targeted); praying people being attacked and the refusal of DAPL and our government to abide by the Rule of Law.

The vets who came in Dec to stand down against these crimes need to be on the ground there now, right now. We need to stand up for our brothers and our sisters, for their way of life and, I believe, for our social contract as a democracy which is now threatened.

Please share this so word gets out what is happening, thank you.
Deborah MacKay

This is copy-pasted. If you choose to share, please do the same.

I will not stand aside!

It is important to know that our legislators have our backs.  To that end, we are sharing a letter from Senator Martin Heinrich (Democrat, New Mexico).  Many thanks to the Senator for this encouraging response to recent events.


January 29, 2017

Dear Friend,

Like many New Mexicans, I am sickened by an administration that now poses dangerous threats to the values and freedoms we all cherish.

During his first week in office, President Trump ordered an unraveling of the federal workforce, floated the idea of bringing back the CIA’s use of ‘black site’ prisons and torture, imposed a gag order on federal agencies, ordered construction of a wall along our southern border, and revived the Keystone XL and Dakota pipeline projects. 

All of this culminated with an executive order blocking refugees from around the world from entering the United States, including Hameed Khalid Darweesh whose life was in danger in his home country due to the work he did to help the U.S. military. 

We are not a nation that turns our back on the innocent victims of terrorism or the allies who risked their own lives so that American soldiers may live. 

We are not a country that discriminates based on how you pray. 

President Trump’s reckless actions seek to turn us into the kind of authoritarian nation that we have always stood against. This is not greatness, in fact, this is un-American.

Our immigrant communities have helped to write the economic, social, and cultural story of America. I know this firsthand. My own father is an immigrant who came to America as a boy to escape Nazi Germany in the 1930s. 

I’m familiar with the promise America represents for families. I know how hard immigrants work, how much they believe in this country, how much they’re willing to give back, and how different my own life would be if America had turned my father away.

I will not stand aside as the values that created the greatest nation on earth are trampled. 

Together, lifted by the incredible spirit of the American people, we will fight back against injustices and build a better future for our children and all future generations.



United States Senator

Follow Martin Heinrich on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:

Author Barbara Kingsolver on What We Do Now

Trump changed everything. Now everything counts.

Barbara Kingsolver

If you’re among the majority of American voters who just voted against the party soon to control all three branches of our government, you’ve probably had a run of bad days. You felt this loss like a death in the family and coped with it as such: grieved with friends, comforted scared kids, got out the bottle of whisky, binge-watched Netflix. But we can’t hole up for four years waiting for something that’s gone. We just woke up in another country.

It’s hard to guess much from Trump’s campaign promises but we know the goals of the legislators now taking charge, plus Trump’s VP and those he’s tapping to head our government agencies. Losses are coming at us in these areas: freedom of speech and the press; women’s reproductive rights; affordable healthcare; security for immigrants and Muslims; racial and LGBTQ civil rights; environmental protection; scientific research and education; international cooperation on limiting climate change; international cooperation on anything; any restraints on who may possess firearms; restraint on the upper-class wealth accumulation that’s gutting our middle class; limits on corporate influence over our laws. That’s the opening volley.

A well-documented majority of Americans want to keep all those things, and in some cases expand them. We now find ourselves seriously opposed to our government-elect. We went to bed as voters, and got up as outsiders to the program.

How uncomfortable. We crave to believe our country is still safe for mainstream folks like us and the things we hold dear. Our civic momentum is to trust the famous checks and balances and resist any notion of a new era that will require a new kind of response. Anti-Trump demonstrations have already brought out a parental tone in the media, and Michael Moore is still being labeled a demagogue. Many Democrats look askance at Keith Ellison, the sudden shooting star of the party’s leadership, as too different, too progressive and feisty. Even if we agree with these people in spirit, our herd instinct recoils from extreme tactics and unconventional leaders on the grounds that they’ll never muster.

That instinct is officially obsolete.

Wariness of extremism doesn’t seem to trouble anyone young enough to claim Lady Gaga as a folk hero. I’m mostly addressing my generation, the baby boomers. We may have cut our teeth on disrespect for the Man, but now we’ve counted on majority rule for so long we think it’s the air we breathe. In human decency we trust, so our duty is to go quietly when our team loses. It feels wrong to speak ill of the president. We’re not like the bigoted, vulgar bad sports who slandered Obama and spread birther conspiracies, oh, wait. Now we’re to honor a president who made a career of debasing the presidency?

We’re in new historical territory. A majority of American voters just cast our vote for a candidate who won’t take office. A supreme court seat meant to be filled by our elected president was denied us. Congressional districts are now gerrymandered so most of us are represented by the party we voted against. The FBI and Russia meddled with our election. Our president-elect has no tolerance for disagreement, and a stunningly effective propaganda apparatus. Now we get to send this outfit every dime of our taxes and watch it cement its power. It’s not going to slink away peacefully in the next election.

Many millions of horrified Americans are starting to grasp that we can’t politely stand by watching families, lands and liberties get slashed beyond repair. But it’s a stretch to identify ourselves as an angry opposition. We’re the types to write letters to Congress maybe, but can’t see how marching in the streets really changes anything. Strikes and work stoppages won us great deals historically, but now we think of them as chaotic outbursts that trouble foreign countries. Our disagreements are polite. Forget radical, even being labeled “political,” which is code for opposing the civic status quo, is a kind of castigation.

But politeness is no substitute for morality, and won’t save us in the end. We only get to decide who we are. As a writer and a person my bedrock is perennial hope for a better world than this one, and for that I’ve borne the radical brand, not by choice. As outlaws go I’m as boring as toast, a polite, southern female who’s never broken any law but the speed limit. Despite this gentility I’ve endured FBI investigations and personal threats, and once had to travel on book tour with a bodyguard. This was during Republican administrations that sounded infinitely friendlier to dissent than the one that’s now on deck. So you’ll forgive my weak faith in broad-shouldered American tolerance and the guaranteed free pass for good behavior.

I’ve come through terrible times and am writing this now on the strength of one long rescue: the solidarity of strangers. People who sent letters and messages, tearfully shook my hand or hugged me in the grocery store, always to say, “Thanks, you spoke up for me. I’m here for you.” A handwritten note or a hug in the grocery store can save a life. Standing in the streets with a huge crowd of fellow believers really does change something, not just through the message sent out, but also the one that’s absorbed.

So many of us have stood up for the marginalized, but never expected to be here ourselves. It happened to us overnight, not for anything we did wrong but for what we know is right. Our first task is to stop shaming ourselves and claim our agenda. It may feel rude, unprofessional and risky to break the habit of respecting our government; we never wanted to be enemies of the state. But when that animosity mounts against us, everything we do becomes political: speaking up or not speaking up. Either one will have difficult consequences. That’s the choice we get.

With due respect for the colored ribbons we’ve worn for various solidarities, our next step is to wear something on our sleeve that takes actual courage: our hearts.

I’ll go first. If we’re artists, writers, critics, publishers, directors or producers of film or television, we reckon honestly with our role in shaping the American psyche. We ask ourselves why so many people just couldn’t see a 69-year-old woman in our nation’s leading role, and why they might choose instead a hero who dispatches opponents with glib cruelty. We consider the alternatives. We join the time-honored tradition of artists resisting government oppression through our work.

If we’re journalists, we push back against every door that closes on freedom of information. We educate our public about objectivity, why it matters, and what it’s like to work under a president who aggressively threatens news outlets and reporters.

If we’re consumers of art, literature, film, TV and news, we think about what’s true, and what we need. We reward those who are taking risks to provide it.

If we’re teachers we explicitly help children of all kinds feel safe in our classrooms under a bullying season that’s already opened in my town and probably yours. Language used by a president may enter this conversation. We say wrong is wrong.

If we’re scientists we escalate our conversation about the dangers of suppressing science education and denying climate change. We shed our cautious traditions and explain what people should know. Why southern counties are burning now and Florida’s coastal cities are flooding, unspared by any vote-count for denial.

If we’re women suffering from sexual assault or body image disorders, or if we’re their friends, partners or therapists, we acknowledge that the predatory persona of men like Trump is genuinely traumatizing. That revulsion and rage are necessary responses.

If our Facebook friends post racial or sexist slurs or celebrate assaults on our rights, we don’t just delete them. We tell them why.

If we’re getting up in the morning, we bring our whole selves to work. We talk with co-workers and clients, including Trump supporters, about our common frustrations when we lose our safety nets, see friends deported, lose our clean air and water, and all the harm to follow. We connect cause and effect. This government will blame everyone but itself.

We refuse to disappear. We keep our commitments to fairness in front of the legislators who oppose us, lock arms with the ones who are with us, and in the words of Congressman John Lewis, prepare to get ourselves in some good trouble. Every soul willing to do that is part of our team, starting with the massive crowd that shows up in DC in January to show the new president what we stand for, and what we won’t.

There’s safety in numbers, but only if we count ourselves out loud.

 Article published in The Guardian (online)

Photo credit Annie Griffiths



Happy New Year!

early-spring-2016035Happy New Year from all of us at Orenda Healing International to all of you– wherever you may be!

We wish you a year filled with abundance of all that is joyful, beautiful, and peaceful.

May 2017 be our best year ever!  May we embrace curiosity and new learning on every level.  May we overcome each challenge with courage, determination, and persistence.  And may we meet fear and resistance with acceptance, understanding, and love.

Four Winds Journal’s End-of-Year Advertising Special!


Orenda Healing International is celebrating this holiday season with a gift for you.  Starting today, we’re offering 50% off of all advertising rates through December 31!

1/4/ page – $50 – now $25

1/2 page – $100 – now $50

Full page – $200 – now $100

Give your organization, practice, or product a jumpstart for the New Year.  Space is limited, so take advantage of this amazing offer today!

(Special rates apply through 12/31/2016.  Regular rates resume 1/1/2017.)

Healing with Spirit

img_3569While working on my doctorate, I focused on spiritual guidance as a semi-specialty.  (Shamanic work can hardly be called clinical psychology, after all!)

I soon learned that one could call oneself a “spiritual guide,” “spiritual counselor,” “chaplain,” or “minister.”  The word healer was never used, and juxtaposition of the words spiritual and medicine rarely occured, except in the context of hospital chaplaincy.

Yet in many indigenous cultures, medicine is the word used for whatever healing energy one can recognize.  (The expression “laughter is good medicine” illustrates a Western adaptation of this belief.)  Indigenous people acknowledge that Spirit is the real healer, not the man or woman doing the smudging, sand painting, chanting, dancing, or journeying.  Indeed, each of these practices is a message to Spirit asking for help for the person in need.  In my own practice, I have noticed that the only thing a “healer” can do to help her patient is facilitate that person’s reconnection with their own spiritual source.

Dr. Larry Dossey, MD, is one of the few medical physicians I know who openly acknowledges the truth of this indigenous belief and who, based upon his own clinical experience, has written several books on the power of prayer and the effect of a doctor’s intervention, not as a surgeon or other specialist, but as a spiritual guide and intercessor with Spirit on the patient’s behalf.

It’s fascinating to recall that not so long ago, the process of healing was composed of and dependent upon the interrelationship of what we currently call science, medicine, psychology, art, philosophy, and prayer.  These were all part of the same holistic package, which Western culture chose to separate into discrete disciplines.

Therefore, this interesting article on spiritual care in medicine,   shared by Cherry Hill Seminary’s Executive Director Holli Emore, came as a pleasant surprise.  It may be that Western culture, having exhausted the talents of “pure science,” is ready for a sea change– a return to the past in order to step more compassionately into a future that will benefit not merely humans but all beings on this planet.  One can only hope!

Time for Healing

healing-dayDear One, 

Whether you live in the USA or another part of the world, however you voted (or would have), you are likely feeling the impact of the recent election day in America. I am currently teaching in Israel and have certainly felt the deep emotional impact, not only personally but also collectively. I am still processing these challenging emotions, including pain, anger and fear. At times, I have even found myself trying to detach and push these difficult feelings away, while also realizing that they are collective and a deep part of our human history. In fact, these challenges have been here on the planet and embedded in humanity for a long, long time.

This current, collective experience is not just about one person or party or this moment in history. It is about many things, including the opportunity we have right now for individuals and humanity to come together, learning and healing our longstanding discord and misunderstandings, together. And while many fear the potential misuse and misapplication of power, it is important to remember that none of us is either powerless or without choice. Anything we can do from a place of love will bring more healing, and anything we do from a place of fear will bring the opposite of peace. I will say that again –anything we can do from a place of love will bring more healing, and anything we do from a place of fear will bring the opposite of peace.

To continue to build the chi field of hope and empowerment and courage and blessing, I invite you to join us this weekend, so that together we can practice transforming fear into love, starting with ourselves and starting right now. Sound Healing and other Wisdom Healing Qigong practices help us process our deep emotions and bring more healing to ourselves, each other, America and the entire world, definitively impacting our shared future. Please join us this weekend on Saturday for the Chi Center live stream from Israel, as well as on Sunday for the beautiful Day of Healing and Reconciliation sponsored by the Shift Network.

All the details and links are below. We encourage you to gather with friends and participate in the live stream events together. Feel free to share this email with your entire online community.

Thank you, from my heart to yours. May these events and more bring greater healing to our world, here and beyond.

Wishing you Deep Peace and Healing, Haola

Master Mingtong Gu

This Weekend’s Events:

Saturday, November 12th: 7:30-8:30 am MST (4:30-5:30 pm Israel Time)
Live Stream with Master Mingtong Gu: Sound Healing Practice from Israel

Sunday, November 13th: 1:00-3:00 pm MST
Day of Healing and Reconciliation, sponsored by Shift Network

Sunday, November 13th: 3:00-4:00 pm MST
Replay from Nov. 12th “Sound Healing Teaching &Practice”

Time Zone Converter


Please see the email below from Stephen Dinan, of the Shift Network:

Mingtong, I am going to speak to just Americans in this email, although this is truly a global moment. So much of our country is reeling, coming to grips with the election results. I have wept myself multiple times. In the coming days, the emotional storms will likely be strong, the fears deep, and the tensions high. Our democracy is in a perilous moment. If you were a Hillary supporter, please let whatever emotions you need to feel to pass through as quickly as you can.  Because we need you now. If you were a Trump supporter, please be gracious.  We need to feel that you understand our pain and our fears. We need your heart and generosity now. We want to better understand you and your concerns as well. If you voted for another candidate or didn’t vote, we need you now. It is time for all people of conscience to help with the profound, long-term work of healing our country, which is precariously close to rupturing. We have to heal collectively and find a way, somehow, to be united again. This country is going through titanic emotions  We have to help steady the ship, build bridges and hold our country together.  Let us spread love. The MOST important thing that I can see that can help us to do this is a massive Day of Healing and Reconciliation which we are producing for Sunday. Visit our website to see our current lineup of leaders that bridge left and right.  For this to have the maximum positive impact, we need to have tens of millions participating, taking actions, building community, being inspired by others. We need to scale up the professionalism and outreach of our broadcast event massively, and better organize the grassroots.  I intend to raise $100K today for outreach and major artists. We are working on landing Stevie Wonder and India Arie.   We have extended invitations to Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.  We have top Republicans and Democrats on board already.  Our 1.0 video has been seen by over 525,000 and is spreading rapidly. I am asking for your help in three ways: Spread the word: Shift Network Day of Healing.  Help sponsor the event by sending what you are able to Paypal at to fund outreach and impact Help activate events in every town in the country.  We want as many as possible in places of worship and will add living room organizing by Friday (feel free to do so on your own before the functionality is up). We have top notch speakers ready to speak We’ll be broadcasting from Unity of Washington DC on Facebook Live next Sunday, November 13, from 3-5 EST, 12-2 PST, followed by local programs. Mark your calendar and spread the word to every faith or spiritual leader you know to start a local event so we can really light up America and move forward. Finally, it is imperative to reach out and express love and solidarity with those who voted differently from you.  We simply must thaw the divides. Do what you need to do to work through your emotions and then we need you, in action, to help us ride out this storm and turn this into a transformational moment. Let us show what we are made of. Let us have a peaceful transfer of power and work together to create a brighter future. Love, Stephen PS – Please also share the video on Facebook, which already has 475,000 views:  Shift Network Day of Healing on Facebook . We hope you will join us. Haola.


November 13 FREE TICKET


Election Night Dream

debra-dreamDebra Carroll, recently published in the Fall 2016 issue of our Four Winds Journal, has shared this wonderful vision with us.

We All Want Peace And Prosperity…

What’s more, we know how to achieve it.

Peace starts within each of us.

True abundance arises from knowing we all are interconnected by boundless love and compassion.

Please join Debra Carroll in keeping a vigil on this perilous night.

She calls on all the merciful goddesses of every tradition to guide us in taking care of one another, the children of humankind, and Earth, who truly is our Mother, from whence we have emerged and evolved.

Help us to avoid a descent into fascism, which devalues human life.

Help us to realize we must pull together as a family, lending strength to each other to give up the nightmare of addiction to oil and other non-renewable technologies, by creative, loving means.  This addiction is destroying families, entire populations and landscapes in drilling, fracking and warfare.

We call on the feminine, nurturing spirit in all of us to help us find another dream.  May this dream be created

In Beauty.